Study at the World's number one ranked art and design university for five consecutive years (2015-2019) in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

About the Programme

The intensity of our carbon economy has left the planet with a design problem. No matter where we live or work, the environments we move through are constructed. There is nothing on the planet that human beings haven’t touched. If the planet has a design problem, what do the terms ‘design’ or ‘architecture’ mean when they are applied to phenomena as varied as oceans or atmospheres, or to farmland and deserts?

The intensity of environmental change calls for new forms of knowledge production based on propositional thinking, especially design-based methods. The design is a crucial tool in both the imagination and negotiation of alternative futures.

Environmental Architecture is a 15-month, project-based MA programme exploring the future of landscapes, environments and ecosystems. It focusses on the co-dependence of life forms and earth systems as well as the co-existence of alternative concepts of landscapes, environments and ecosystems as they are expressed by different societies. The programme is field-focused. Students will have the opportunity to engage with live projects in sites of rapid and complex environmental change. The programme emphasises comparative, multi-scalar approaches to design research. Students will familiarise themselves with anthropological and ethnographic research methods, and new systems measuring, classifying and capturing data including computational sensing and imaging. Classes and workshops from experts in physical and social sciences complement studio teaching and provide quantitative input to projects as required.

Possible areas of enquiry can include: biodiversity, carbon trading, desertification and its effect on migration and settlement patterns, impacts of resource extraction on ecosystems, the role of automation in agriculture, the potential of renewable energy sources, new forms of tourism and their relation to local economies, indigenous struggles and land rights, the role of financial instruments and concepts of natural capital, or many others.

Alongside helping students to establish a network of colleagues and mentors in the city of London the programme also gives them an opportunity to pursue a degree within a world-leading art and design institution, including access to a rich culture of radical and experimental interdisciplinary work at the RCA.The timetable is designed to encourage participation from candidates that are currently working in practice and looking for an opportunity to pursue an advanced degree in Environmental Architecture at the Royal College of Art.

MA Entrance Requirements

Candidates for all MA programmes are assessed on their existing qualities as demonstrated in their work and in their interview, as well as on their potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve MA standards overall. The assessment will consider creativity, imagination and innovation evident in the work; ability to articulate the intentions of the work; intellectual engagement in relevant areas; appropriate technical skills; overall interview performance, including the oral use of English.

Graduates from the Royal College of Art become part of a world-leading, the international network of creative individuals who continue to shape the culture surrounding us.

You will be assessed on your existing qualities, as demonstrated in both your work and in your interviews, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme. The assessment will consider:

  • Creativity, imagination and innovation evident in your work
  • Your ability to communicate through various media
  • Intellectual engagement in the relevant areas
  • Appropriate technical skills and overall interview performance.

You should have achieved a good undergraduate degree, preferably in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Urban Design or another related design discipline, although other backgrounds will be also be considered under certain circumstances. Evidence of intellectual and professional curiosity and a readiness to engage in a rigorous and demanding period of study is essential.


A Design Portfolio is a necessary requirement to enter into the programme, if your first degree is in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Urban Design or a related design discipline. You should submit a digital portfolio via our online applications area of between four to ten completed projects. Each project should include a title image and up to six supporting gallery images. You should provide a description of a maximum of 100 words for each title image and a caption of up to 50 words for each supporting gallery image.

We recommend images 1024 x 768 pixels or greater in size. All image files must be saved as JPG or PNG format with a maximum file size of 2MB. Video files can be submitted in place of images. MOV, MP4 or M4V formats are accepted with a maximum file size of 80MB. Other video formats can be referenced through a link to a video hosting site such as Vimeo.

If your prior degree is in a discipline with no design component, such as the social sciences, geography, urban studies, planning or economics, we will consider the application if prior work is of exceptional merit and students are able to demonstrate their ability work alongside and contribute to multidisciplinary teams. We will look for evidence of critical thinking, innovation and impact in the field when assessing applications from non-design related fields.

When submitting collaborative work, specify this and clearly indicate your role and responsibility.

No actual objects, sketchbooks, physical portfolios or other media should be submitted at the point of application. Submission of any material not listed above will not be accepted. If you have any questions on the portfolio please contact us at

Interview (if invited)

The programme will contact you if you have been shortlisted and invite you to an interview.

You will be interviewed by up to three members of the academic staff and a student representative.

As you made an online portfolio submission, you should bring to interview a selection of your submission in its physical form, as well as any recent work or work in progress.

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Last updated March 12, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
15 months
14,500 GBP
Tuition fees 2017/18: UK/EU: £14,500 per annum; Overseas: £34,000 per annum.
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